Whether it’s your first time watching the big screen from the comfort of your car or you’re seeking a trip down memory lane, you can enjoy a classic drive-in movie experience while visiting the Heart of the Country. Wichita is home to Starlite Drive-In, one of the few remaining twin drive-in theaters in the U.S. where you can watch a movie under the stars for a fun and memorable night out. 

This iconic drive-in first opened in 1953, and despite decades of community support, the Wichita Starlite Drive-In nearly closed in 2018. However, fans rallied and community leaders stepped up to keep this south Wichita landmark alive! 

A boy shops concessions at Starlite Drive-in

What to Expect

Starlite shows a double feature on each of its two screens, with a short intermission in between. One screen accommodates 750 cars, while the other holds 550. There’s no switching between screens, so choose wisely when you enter! They generally show first-run films, with a few retro movie nights every month for a nostalgic touch.

All sound is transmitted through FM radio. Some guests watch from their cars and use their car stereo, while others bring chairs and blankets to sit in front of their vehicle and listen through an FM-capable radio or boombox.

You won’t be disappointed with the selection at their concession stand, which ranges from burgers and fries to funnel cakes and frozen treats! The menu also includes favorites like Chilly Dilly pickles, candy and tubs of buttery, delicious popcorn.

The gates open one hour before the first showtime of the day. Arrive at least 60 minutes early to avoid lines, get a good spot, visit the concession stand and watch the sunset! For weekends, blockbuster movies and holidays, lines to get into Starlite can be long, so plan on arriving at least 90 minutes before showtime.

Tickets & Hours

The drive-in season is dependent on the weather, typically running from March through at least October. For the latest schedule, check Starlite’s official page. 

They operate Friday through Sunday nights from March until Memorial Day weekend, then shift to nightly operations for the summer months until school resumes mid-August. Afterward, they return to weekend-only showings as long as the weather permits.

Starlite offers $20 per carload pricing at various times throughout the year. For the rest of the season, tickets are $10 per person for ages 12 and older and $5 for kids. Children ages 2 and younger are free. Tickets can be purchased online or at the gate. Keep in mind that opening weekends for blockbusters can often sell out, so plan accordingly!

From date nights to family outings, parking at the drive-in is one of the best ways to watch a movie in Wichita!